A new Bloomberg report details that despite the COVID-19 outbreak, Apple is on track to launch its 5G iPhones in September this year. One of the reasons behind this is that the mass production of the devices is not scheduled to start until May.
Despite the shutdown in China in February, Apple was able to build a number of prototypes of the 5G iPhones and test them. The company finalizes on the features and design of a new iPhone between November and December in the previous year and then starts producing their casings in April followed by the Final Assembly, Test and Pack in May.
If Apple is unable to send its team of engineers to China for finalizing the design and resolving other issues within the next month or so, this timeline could see a delay.
Apple’s supply-chain was first disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak in China that led to the factories of its suppliers shutting down for weeks. The outbreak has since spread to the rest of the world leading to factory closures around the world as the spread of the virus has been contained in China and factories are re-opening in the region. This has led to an improvement in the iPhone and AirPods supply which were in short supply over the last few weeks. However, the company’s supply-chain is still not working at its full capacity as many of Apple’s partners are affected by the shut down in Malaysia.
One person who works in Apple’s supply chain said not all operations are moving at normal speed because the flow of components to assemble is still slow. It will take another month or more to get parts moving steadily through the system, the person added.
The report notes that the 2020 iPad Pro lineup announced by Apple earlier this week went into mass production in early January. The Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, however, will only launch in May which is an unusual delay on the company’s part.[Via Bloomberg]